Real Estate Market

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Featured Listing

For Sale: $129,900

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Highlands County Market Trends

What You Should Know about Homes that are For Sale by Owner

You drive by a house with a sign that says For Sale By Owner. Or perhaps you’re the person putting out the sign because you’re going to try to sell your house on your own. Before you take the next step, consider what it means to have a house For Sale By Owner. 


Many people like the idea of buying a house that is FSBO because it costs less. They don’t have to factor in the agent’s commission into the price. However, if you are a buyer with an agent, you may have to pay their commission out of pocket instead of from the purchase price of the house unless the seller agrees to pay the commission. Even if they do pay it, the amount is often lower than the going rate. 

In addition, the price of the house is actually often higher because the seller doesn’t have an informed estimate of the value of the property. Owners tend to think their homes are worth more than what the market shows.  


An agent earns their commission by taking care of all the paperwork in drawing up a contract and moving through the real estate transaction. If you don’t have an agent, you will have to take care of the paperwork, which means the required addendums to protect both parties. If you don’t include these necessary papers, you could end up with a problem house or delays on the purchase. 

Not only does the agent take care of creating the right documents for the contract, they often handle the steps to get to closing. For instance, they may set up the appointment for the inspection and help you understand the results of that inspection. An agent will also assist you in ensuring everything is done before the deadlines so that you don’t lose your earnest money if you decide to cancel the contract along the way. 


Marketing a home can be time-consuming, especially if you hold open houses. An agent will set up tours and open houses while also making sure your home receives attention on social media and through other methods to help it sell faster. They do all of this work while you go to your job and take care of your family. 

For first-time buyers and sellers, it is often helpful to have someone who has “been there, done that” to help them move through the process with fewer headaches and less stress. 

Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about buying or selling a home.

Image courtesy paulbr75/ 

The Challenges and Benefits of Upsizing

Downsizing is a commonly-discussed topic for those whose children have left the nest or for families wanting less room to maintain. Upsizing, in contrast, is frequently associated with growing families.  However, the need or desire for more room includes many additional scenarios. 

The Challenges of Upsizing 

Those desiring a bigger home will undoubtedly need to be prepared to pay more or alternately, move to an area where bigger homes are more affordable. To upsize comfortably, make sure your budget can manage the extra costs associated with a larger home that typically includes a higher mortgage, tax and insurance payments, as well as larger utility and maintenance expenses. 

Not only will expenses typically rise, but so will the additional work needed to care for a bigger home with more square footage to clean and more expansive grounds to maintain.   

The Benefits of Upsizing 

The most obvious benefit of upsizing your home is additional space allowing more room for anything from hobbies to recreation to an in-home office. Additional space can also make entertaining and accommodating short or longer term visitors easier as well. 

Because a larger home frequently has a higher value than a smaller home, an additional advantage can include increased wealth especially as equity builds and the mortgage balance is reduced over time.  

Upon its sale, perhaps corresponding to retirement years in the future when downsizing may again look attractive, a bigger and higher-valued home can provide a greater net profit and more cash at settlement – money that could be used to fund both a smaller home and excess funds to use for travel or other desired activities and pleasures.  

Upsizing is a decision for families who want to weigh the benefits of purchasing a larger property against the corresponding challenges related to that reality which likely means both higher payments and extra work.  

Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you determine the value of your home.  

Image courtesy GregoryButler/ 

What You Should Know about Painting Wood Floors

Natural wood floors are beautiful. However, you can get a whole new look if you decide to paint them. Some people choose to add a motif or picture to their floor while others paint the entire floor a different color. Before you get out the paint swatches and brushes, you should know a few things about this task. 

Paint can protect the floors. If you have an old house with wood floors that have been worn and damaged, you can paint them instead of replacing them – as long as the damage isn’t too severe. The paint can act as a protectant, prevent further damage.  

You Must Prepare 

You will have to prepare the surface just like with any other paint job. If the floors are glossy and finished, you’ll need to sand them down with a 100-grit sandpaper. The entire finish doesn’t need to be removed, but it does need to be rough enough that the paint has something to adhere to. 

You’ll want to vacuum up any dust from the sanding as well as any other dirt that could be trapped in the paint. You will need to use primer if you find any areas that are worn bare with no finish. If you’re painting unfinished floors, you’ll need to prime the entire floor.  

Get the Right Paint 

You’ll want to purchase paint that is designed for floors as well as decks and porches. It will be slip-resistant and heavy-duty enough to stand up to traffic.  

You may need to use two coats for adequate coverage or even more, depending on the color you choose. Just remember that paint will be the same as any other flooring choice, lighter will make the room feel bigger while darker colors will make it appear smaller.  

When selecting the right color, consider the entire room to create a cohesive design. Bold colors on the floor work best if you keep the rest of the room subtle, so nothing is competing for attention. With a bold paint color, you can turn your floor into the focal point of the room.  

Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you determine the value of your home.  

Image courtesy kirkandmimi/ 

Client Testimonials

Fast Sale

I live out of state and Maureen helped me by suggesting what needed to be done to give the home a fresh look. She even found a painter for me, sent me before and after pictures and followed through with a fast sale. Maureen comes highly recommended! I also made a good friend in Maureen

Our Eyes and Ears

“We feel very lucky to have "found" Ms. Maureen Cool through a random inquiry about a property that was listed on the internet. After meeting with Ms. Cool one time, she knew what we were looking for, our budget and what we expected our retirement home to be. Being 800 miles away, Maureen was our eyes and ears as she kept our best interest at heart and was there when we couldn't be. She found us a incredible property, which was a "short sale" and 10 months later, Maureen's dedication and persistence paid off !! In our eyes, we are now the proud owners of our "perfect piece of paradise" and we looking forward to our retirement years in Sebring !!! Her professionalism and her work ethic are outstanding and we would HIGHLY recommend Ms. Cool for any or all of your Real Estate needs.”
Tina Wallace, Sebring, FL

Attentive and Available

You were very attentive, professional and willing to help. You called or returned our calls promptly, and that was very much appreciated. We requested pictures of the house. You sent them so quickly. That was very helpful. It was helpful we could get hold of you over the weekend. You did very well for us. Thank you!
Celina Birecki, Sebring, FL



For the uninformed, blogging is hitting the Internet today and making a real impact!

What is a blog? An easy explanation of this is a WEB LOG or a journal on the web. It’s a place where folks can “voice” their thoughts, share ideas, or comment on those of others. 

Highlands County Florida now has such a blog where new items of interest will be posted and comments can be made. Topics range from those related to real estate and community highlights to local events of interest or anything personal or business related that might be perceived as worthwhile information for public knowledge, discussion and/or use. 

It’s even possible to subscribe to a blog of interest and receive text updates on your iPod! Check out the latest updates for the Highlands County Real Estate Blog:   

Thanks for reading my newsletter, and please feel free to forward this email in it's entirety to anyone you feel would benefit from it.    

To UNSUBSCRIBE scroll to bottom and use the link. You will be removed automatically and immediately. Please also ignore this newsletter if your home is listed with another broker. It's not our intent to solicit other brokers listings.

Contact Information

Photo of Maureen Cool, CRS, CIPS, RSPS Real Estate
Maureen Cool, CRS, CIPS, RSPS
RE/MAX Realty Plus
809 US 27 South
Sebring FL 33870
Toll Free: 1 888 243-COOL (2665)
Fax: 863-385-5897

Maureen Cool * RE/MAX Realty Plus
809 US 27 South, Sebring, Florida 33870
Toll Free:  1-888-243-COOL (2665)
Office: 863-385-0077 X215
Direct: 863-873-7243
Fax: 863-385-5897



Maureen Cool of RE/MAX Realty Plus offers real estate services to buyers, sellers, relocation's in the Highlands County real estate area.

Including Polk County, Hardee County, Okeechobee County, Desota County and Glades County.

Whether you are looking for luxury, investment, second home, commercial, bank owned, foreclosures properties Maureen Cool and The Cool Team are your real estate professionals for the entire Central Florida area.

Maureen Cool is your Luxury Home Expert in Highlands County. 
She can assist you with your Sebring, Avon Park and Lake Placid real estate needs. 



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Kim Hughes Real Estate Virtual Assistant


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